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Constantly and completely monitor your Arduino project’s power consumption with the PowMeter shield. This versatile solution replaces up to four multimeters with a ten gram device. (For french speaking people, there is a full presentation, here
It’s always good practice to design a project with low energy usage in mind. But just using multimeters (and oscilloscopes) is tedious, error-prone, messy, and can even mess up your equipment. Something will go wrong almost every time. So I made PowMeter Nano to make measurement easy, compact, and something that you can integrate into your project.
I have always been interested by power consumption measurement, but the matter is harder than expected and I got bad measurements when I first started. I rapidly found that measuring a current on a rail that has higher or equal potential to the measurement circuit power is difficult, particularly if one looks for precise measurements. But after much research and after examining many IC options, my ultimate choice was the standard INA219 IC used by many Arduino makers. I chose it mainly because it would integrate into an “all I2C” architecture.
After the power measurement ICs were determined, I added an ATmega microcontroller and an OLED module to the PowMeter. All these are communicating through I2C. Measurement is done through 50 mOhms - 1% current sense resistors with a max of 1 W despite their small 1206 package footprint. This should prevent them from burning as easily as my multimeters calibers. Of course, short circuits should be avoided!